“…and she loved a little boy very, very much –
even more than she loved herself”

– The Giving Tree

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Charlie-closeupDear Charlie,

How is it possible that it has been two years since you were born? A day that I thought was never going to end marked the start of this journey that is flying by with lightening speed. My baby isn’t a baby anymore.

I’m going to call this past year the Year of the Personality. Over the last 365 days, we’ve seen your personality really begin to form and shine through. You are curious and energetic and smart and funny and sweet and so many other things; it’s hard to find one word to describe you. But, one of your teachers may have said it best when she wrote me an email a few months ago… She called you “Spunky Charles.” And that’s what you are: spunky.

spunk·y
adjective informal
1. courageous and determined.

I see your spunk more and more as you are growing up. I see it when you try new things without hesitation – from trying broccoli to feeding Grampy’s chickens, you don’t even blink an eye. I see it when you try and try to achieve things – like that day you finally figured out how to build a tower without your blocks losing their balance. I see it when you meet new people in social situations – like when you stood up in front of your entire daycare center and roared like a dinosaur for Halloween. You have no fear.

For Mom and Dad, this year has been a year of pride. While the first year with you was fabulous (because who doesn’t love a baby?), it has been so rewarding to watch you grow into a real little human. We’re seeing the fruits of our labor in the ways you communicate and interact with us. The way you yell “Mooommmmm-yyyyy” melts my heart…sometimes I just don’t respond so I can hear you repeat it over and over. I want to bottle up that sound so I can save it, because I know before long it will be gone. Or, not gone, but changed.

You are a fun little guy with a mind of his own, and you amaze us every day.

I think we saw you shine most when you became a big brother. From the day I got pregnant, everyone I knew would asked me if you knew what was going on and how I thought you would adjust. You would point at my belly and say “sister”, but you did the same to your own… So, my answer was always the same – He’s not even 2, he has no clue what is going on. But in true Charlie fashion, you amazed me with the way you immediately took to your sister. You walked in to my hospital room, pointed at her and exclaimed “Sister!” It was like you knew all along that she was coming, and you were ready to protect her, love her, and keep her safe. The way you get excited to see her every time she is around; the way you exclaim, “Hi, Sis!”; the way you give her sweet kisses on her head, and gently stroke her cheek to say, “cuuute!” You are the best big brother.

As we make our way into the “Terrible Two’s,” I know we have many challenges ahead of us. Your courage and determination will turn into frustration when you can’t do things (or we don’t let you do things), or you are unable to communicate your wants and needs to us in ways we can’t understand. As we’ve already seen, you can throw a pretty great tantrum. We apologize in advance for the bumpy road ahead: the time outs, the losing patience, the raised voices. We’ll do our best to manage your spunk the best we can, so you don’t ever lose it.

Every night before I go to sleep, I still come into your room and rub your back a little as you sleep. I whisper “I love you, buddy”… sometimes, in a half sleep, you even whisper back, “Wub you.” Every time, I walk out with a big grin on my face and I say to your dad, “Man, that kid is so awesome.” I don’t know if it’s possible for you to comprehend how much I love you. Maybe some day when you have a child, you will truly know. Until then, I’ll just have to keep writing it and saying it. And I’ll hope you will never, ever forget it.

Love you always,

Mommy

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